The exhibition, supported by the Office of the Bicentennial, is part of Indiana Remixed, the campus’s fourth annual Global Remixed Arts and Humanities Festival. “New + Next” will begin with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 17 at the gallery and run through March 5.
Three of the faculty members whose work will be on display in “New + Next” shared a little about what inspired them.
Jennifer Riley is an associate professor of architecture who leads the visual studies curriculum of the program. Her artwork for the exhibition incorporates complex patterns seen on discarded laser-cut pieces of steel used in the auto engine industry. In 2014, Riley was inspired to incorporate the role of industry as an additional subject in her work after seeing a pile of steel with unusual patterns at a steel fabrication plant.
“The interesting thing for me is the simultaneous rise of the automobile engine and of gestural abstraction in the 20th century, two powerful human inventions that peaked midcentury,” Riley said. “In my paintings, I marry them together metaphorically to express the possibility of creating something new in our time out of a byproduct of industry and as a way of moving ideas for painting forward.”
Riley hopes audiences will walk away with a sense of surprise, wonder and curiosity – what she seeks when looking at art herself and how she hopes to inspire her students.
Jooyoung Shin is an assistant professor of fashion design whose two designs for the exhibition were creative outcomes of her research project that examined the distinct relationship between dress and body established in Eastern and Western culture.
Shin’s designs, titled “Allelomorph” and “Complement/Contrast,” use innovative design principles to represent visual dynamics from her research. The principles include the introduction of ambiguous boundaries between dress and body, the creation of symmetrical balance via merging contrasting elements of one garment, and the application of sustainable design practices.
“Given that my Korean heritage has been a profound source of inspiration, I want the audience to acknowledge and appreciate the beauty of cultures of their own as well as others,” Shin said.
She hopes audiences enjoy the exciting combination of old and new technologies and materials as well as the visual harmony of juxtaposing shapes, textures and colors.
“I strive to broaden my students’ creativity, which I believe is the most fundamental and essential tool for them to be successful leaders in the field of fashion design,” Shin said.
Malcolm Smith is an associate professor of ceramics whose small sculpture in the exhibition came out of a series of vessel sculptures that began in 2004-05, derived from his practice of drawing and altering wheel-thrown forms. His piece “Roottongue Cloud Scoop” was inspired by the playful intersection of “cloudlike” imagery, drawing, jazz and the space of a vessel – in this case, a cup form with handle/appendage, he said.
For Smith, what’s most fulfilling about creating his art is “making new territory to explore by seeking to make new observations about limitless possibilities of the imagination, the mud of clay and open playground of drawing.” His hope for those who see his work at the gallery is that they come away with “a sense of gleeful wanderings of thought.”
Having his work showcased alongside his colleagues and being a part of 125 years of art and design at IU is special to Smith.
“I am honored to be a part of the legacy that is the history of fine arts education at IU,” he said. “It is a privilege to work alongside and within the continuum of amazing colleagues and amazing artists.”